Born: 1792 September 27 in London, England, United Kingdom

Died: 1878 February 1 in London, England, United Kingdom

Biography: George Cruikshank was a British caricaturist and book illustrator, praised as the "modern Hogarth" during his life. His book illustrations for his friend Charles Dickens, and many other authors, reached an international audience.

Cruikshank was born in London. His father, Isaac Cruikshank, was one of the leading caricaturists of the late 1790s and Cruikshank started his career as his father's apprentice and assistant. His older brother, Isaac Robert, also followed in the family business as a caricaturist and illustrator.

Cruikshank's early work was caricature; but in 1823, at the age of 31, he started to focus on book illustration. He illustrated the first, 1823 English translation (by Edgar Taylor and David Jardine) of Grimms' Fairy Tales, published in two volumes as German Popular Stories.

Cruikshank's early career was renowned for his social caricatures of English life for popular publications.

He achieved early success collaborating with William Hone in his political satire The Political House That Jack Built (1819).

His first major work was Pierce Egan's Life in London (1821) in which the characters Tom and Jerry, two 'men about town' visit various London locations and taverns to enjoy themselves and carouse. This was followed by The Comic Almanack (1835–1853) and Omnibus (1842).

He gained notoriety with his political prints that attacked the royal family and leading politicians. In 1820 he received a royal bribe of £100 for a pledge "not to caricature His Majesty" (George IV of the United Kingdom) "in any immoral situation". His work included a personification of England named John Bull who was developed from about 1790 in conjunction with other British satirical artists such as James Gillray, and Thomas Rowlandson.

Cruikshank replaced one of his major influences, James Gillray, as England's most popular satirist. For a generation he delineated Tories, Whigs and Radicals impartially. Satirical material came to him from every public event – wars abroad, the enemies of Britain (he was highly patriotic), the frolic, among other qualities, such as the weird and terrible, in which he excelled.

For Charles Dickens, Cruikshank illustrated Sketches by Boz (1836), The Mudfog Papers (1837–38) and Oliver Twist (1838). He also illustrated Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi (1938), which Dickens edited under his regular nom de plume, "Boz". Cruikshank even acted in Dickens's amateur theatrical company.

On 30 December 1871 Cruikshank published a letter in The Times which claimed credit for much of the plot of Oliver Twist. The letter launched a fierce controversy around who created the work. Cruikshank was not the first Dickens illustrator to make such a claim. Robert Seymour who illustrated the Pickwick Papers suggested that the idea for that novel was originally his; however, in his preface to the 1867 edition, Dickens strenuously denied any specific input.


    George Cruikshank Type: Name at Birth
    Given name: George Family name: Cruikshank

Non Comics Works:

  1. Publication Title: Grimms' Fairy Tales (book) - Role: artist - Year: 1823

  2. Publication Title: Jack Sheppard (book) - Role: artist - Year: 1839
    Employer Name : Richard Bentley

  3. Publication Title: Oliver Twist (book) - Role: artist - Year: 1838

  4. Publication Title: Pierce Egan's Life in London (book) - Role: artist - Year: 1821

  5. Publication Title: The Comic Almanack (magazine) - Role: artist - Years: 1835 - 1853
    Employer Name : Charles Tilt; David Bogue

  6. Publication Title: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (book) - Role: artist - Year: 1832
    Employer Name : James Cochrane

  7. Publication Title: The Man in the Moon (book) - Role: artist - Year: 1820
    Employer Name : William Hone

  8. Publication Title: The Political House that Jack Built (book) - Role: artist - Year: 1819
    Employer Name : William Hone

  9. Publication Title: The Political Showman (book) - Role: artist - Year: 1821
    Employer Name : William Hone

  10. Publication Title: The Queen's Matrimonial Ladder (book) - Role: artist - Year: 1820
    Employer Name : William Hone

  11. Publication Title: The Scourge (magazine) - Role: artist - Years: 1811 - 1816


  1. Child of - Isaac Cruikshank (b. 1764)
  2. Sibling - Isaac Robert Cruikshank (b. 1789)